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Wilson@ACTION 生命行动者






2012-07-25 11:02:54|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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History of Food Safety:

A Commentary

The desire to make our food last longer and keep better stems back before Biblical times! Yet we have had refrigerators for only roughly 150 years. The History of food safety is a story that bridges all civilizations together.
Centuries ago, the major part of your life would have been spent gathering, hunting, finding, or preparing food to keep you going! I’m sure it didn’t take Adam and Eve long to realize that the fruit from that tree was only delicious if eaten soon after being plucked; let it sit on the ground a few weeks and it was sure to smell and look awful, not to mention giving them a tummy ache! (To review our article on why and how food spoils, click here).

Let me divide food history into two informal epochs, with refrigeration as the watershed. To make it easy, you can jump to certain sections. We’ve also included links if you want more information on particular individuals, but be aware that they will take you to new web sites.

The Pre-Refrigeration Era
The Refrigeration
Other Changes in Food Safety History


The Pre-Refrigeration Era 冷藏前时代

Since commercial refrigeration as we understand it today didn’t come into use until the 1800s, there is a lot of history to cover, so I’m just going to focus on some basic ideas. Any means of keeping food cold – from the stream by the back door to the cooler in the supermarket – is refrigeration. Doing it by scientific means changed food safety so significantly that it is good to know what came before.

People of all times and cultures have recognized that bad food can make you sick. Even Confucius, in 500 B.C., warned against eating “sour rice.” Such practical advice from a spiritual leader illustrates how important healthy food was.

Ancient Egyptians were possibly the first to develop the silo, a storage tank designed to hold grain harvested from the fields. Storing grain in a silo kept it cool, dry and able to last into the non-harvest months or longer.
在19世纪发明商业冷藏技术之前,有过一个比较令人艰难的阶段,人们很难真正有效地保存食物。每个时代、每个民族都知道,坏的食物会令人生病。公元前500年,Even Confucius就警告人们不要吃发酸的大米。作为一名精神领袖发出如此具体的呼吁,可见健康的食品是何等重要了。
The Bible speaks of the Hebrews receiving manna from heaven every morning. Manna would have been similar to a flat wafer or cracker – quick to gather every day, nourishing, and easy to carry as they traveled around in the wilderness. We’re told that it tasted like wafers made with honey or like cakes made with oil. We’re also told it spoiled (“bred worms and stank”) after twenty-four to forty-eight hours. They just couldn’t make it last any longer – but that’s another story.

Ancient Rome was the first recognized society to focus on freshness in fruit and other food. The rich Romans would often have fresh food delivered to their homes, where the cooks (probably slaves or servants) would prepare the meals. Without a doubt one would want to stay on the cook’s good side; poisoning has been a weapon from time immemorial! Don't you wonder if the masters realized how much power their slaves had over them when it came to food?
The Romans were also famous for salting their foods to preserve them – a practice still used today in some cultures. The salting process dries out the food; one of the things we know now, although the Romans may not have, is that most germs need moisture. In addition to salting, there are other methods of drying food, many of them still used today.

People have long recognized that keeping some foods cold could make them last longer. Some people put meat or fish in the creek or waterfall to try to keep it fresh. Others recognized that snow and ice were natural refrigerants, and would leave food outside to let the weather chill it. So the fish you had to salt in the summer you could just freeze in the winter. In addition, your great-great-grandma may have had a fruit cellar or root cellar where she stored not only fruit but veggies, jams, jellies, pickles, and other foods that needed cool storage without becoming frozen.
In the early 1800s Napoleon Bonaparte , ambitious for territory and power, offered a reward to anyone who could figure out how to keep the food his soldiers needed from spoiling as they traveled about warring against other European countries. The solution of Nicolas Appert was to put the food into jars with lids on them, and boil the food until he thought it was cooked. It was the first version of canning, and it worked – although Appert may not have realized that what the cooking was doing was killing any germs that may have been on the food.

Actually, it was not until the 1600s that scientists isolated germs as a source of illness. Even then, it was unclear what actually caused people to get sick.

在19世纪早期,野心勃勃的拿破仑皇帝发现他的军队在横行欧洲各国四处征战的时候,食物腐败会严重影响战斗力。于是他向社会悬赏,以求为他的士兵保存食物不致腐败的方法。有个叫Nicolas Appert的人提供了一个办法,就是把食物放到带盖的罐子里面,然后煮熟煮透,就可以携带出征了。这就是最初的“罐头”。这方法很灵,尽管Appert也许也不清楚这种方法是杀死了食物中的致病菌。实际上,17世纪时人们已经发现有些不可见的东西可能是疾病之源,但人们并不清楚具体是哪种微生物导致的。
Before the microscope changed the way we looked at the world, many scientists believed that living things could arise spontaneously from non-living matter. Well, that’s the way it looked to them. In 1668, Francisco Redi , an Italian physician, was among the first to demonstrate that life actually came from other life – that maggots (fly larvae) were not created by decaying meat itself but rather by flies that laid their eggs in the meat. He did this by putting out raw beef in several jars, some that were covered and some that weren’t. The uncovered meat had fly larvae growing in them within a few days; the covered did not. This might also be the first demonstration of why you don’t want flies landing on your hamburgers (see our picnic food safety section for more information).

There was still great debate about this matter, however, until the latter part of the nineteenth century, when the experiments of Louis Pasteur, Ferdinand Julius Cohn, and August Gartneu began to demonstrate that, although people couldn’t see them, there were organisms in the air, soil, animals and water – we call them microorganisms – that can and will make us sick.

直到发明的显微镜之后,人们看待世界的方式才发生了改变。那时候,很多科学家认为,生物是可以从无生命的物质上长出来的。很可笑吗?当时人们确实是这么认为的。直到1668年,Francisco Redi,一位意大利物理学家,最早发现新生命必是源于另一个生命-- 例如,蝇蛆并不是由腐烂的肉产生的,而是苍蝇聚集在肉表面并产下了蝇卵孵化出来的。Francisco把牛肉放入不同的罐子,有的敞开,有的加盖。未加盖的肉在几天后长出了蝇蛆,而加盖的却没有。现在你去吃汉堡包,也知道不让苍蝇停在你的食物上了,但这在那个年代却是了不起的发现。

到了19世纪下半叶,Louis Pasteur, Ferdinand Julius Cohn和August Gartneu首次证明,有些肉眼无法观察到的生物,我们称之为微生物,可以存在于空气、土壤和水中,是导致我们患病的元凶。

Parasites were already known; in 1835 James Paget and Richard Owen described the pig parasite Trichenella Spiralis, which we know as the cause of Trichinosis today.

In the 1860s Louis Pasteur began his work on pasteurization and fermentation, which has made an enormous impact both on the medical world and on food safety to this day. In 1888, August G?rtner diagnosed a food-borne illness bacteria, Bacillus Enteritidis. Fifty-seven people had eaten beef from a cow slaughtered while it was ill, and became ill themselves. He studied the symptoms of all the people who were sick, and concluded the bacteria must have come from the diarrhea of the cow. This was a window into how carefully and safely meat must be handled when being processed.

Probably one of the most dedicated scientists of the era, M.A. Barber , gave himself food poisoning in 1914 by purposefully spoiling milk. He and two associates drank it and recorded similar symptoms. Hopefully, he paid his associates extra for the subsequent sick days. At any rate, the connection between spoiled food and illness was becoming clearer.
人们已经知道了寄生虫,例如James Paget 和Richard Owen发现猪旋毛虫可以导致我们今天所称的旋毛虫症。在十九世纪60年代,Louis Pasteur开始研究巴氏消毒和发酵,这些研究对今天的医学和食品安全科学产生了很深远的影响。1888年,August Gartner发现了可以通过食物传播的肠炎杆菌。57个人在吃了病牛肉之后发病,August研究了他们的症状,判断出是细菌是来自病牛的粪便。从此以后,人们意识到肉类的正确加工是多么重要了。

The Refrigeration Era

Combining common knowledge about making food safer by keeping it colder with the understanding of germs and bacteria that scientists were gaining, inventors began to look for ways to keep foods cold anywhere. The change in society from an agricultural to an industrial one, plus a greater taste for beef and other meat in the U.S., created both a desire for freshness in shipped food and a need for safe cold food storage in the home. This led to the refrigeration technology we have today. Without reliable refrigeration, your favorite fast-food restaurant could never have been.

The first home coolers were metal-lined, insulated boxes filled with ice… thus, the term “icebox.” These were filled with blocks of ice provided by vendors who had developed ways to transport ice from rivers and streams to cities. Packing ice blocks with hay was one popular method for shipping ice without letting it melt. Ice became such a big business in the nineteenth century that ice-making companies developed, making "clean" (non-polluted) ice with refrigerants which weren't yet safe enough for domestic use. The "ice man" made house calls every day or two to keep the icebox working. (The desire for fresh, safe food at home led to flourishing home-delivery businesses through the middle of the 20th century; even when the ice man was a thing of the past, the milk man and the bread man were still in the safe food delivery business.)
第一个家用冷藏设备有金属外壳,里面放满了冰块盒子…人们称之为“冰盒子”。这些冰块由专人从城市外的河溪采集,并运到市场销售。包装好的冰块买卖,成为了19世纪非常大的生意。卖冰人(ice man)每隔一两天就来送新冰块。
In 1805, Oliver Evans had come up with the idea of an icebox cooled with vapor rather than ice, but never developed it. However, John Gorrie , a physician, came up with the idea to treat patients with respiratory illnesses by putting them in rooms that had been artificially made cold. This idea became the first work of mechanical refrigeration; in fact, Gorrie quit his practice and dedicated his time to developing this technique.

Alexander C. Twining noted Gorrie’s work and began to experiment with commercial refrigerants that would eventually be used in refrigerators for both meat processing plants and trains. He was successful, and from the 1860s on, refrigerated train cars transported food around the country. This led to new standards in the food processing industry, as meat and other foods were processed at large plants and then shipped all over the country.

In the U.S., mechanical refrigeration (in a safer form) was brought home, literally, as refrigerators began to supplant iceboxes (and ice men) in the 1930s. Today, of course, most households in the United States and Canada – as well as much of the rest of the industrial world – have refrigerators. Can you imagine life without a fridge? (Of course, I can remember a time when home computers and cell phones didn’t exist so I guess it’s possible!)

在1805年,Oliver Evans曾构思发明一种用蒸汽替代冰块的冷藏机,但一直没成功。后来,一位叫John Gorrie的物理学家发明出一种机械性原理的冷藏室,用于治疗有呼吸性疾病的人们。这是最早关于商业冷藏技术的雏形。Gorrie辞掉了工作,把精力都投入到这种技术的研究中。Alexander C. Twining注意到Gorrie的研究,在其基础上继续研究冷藏技术在肉类加工和列车上的应用。他成功了,自从19世纪60年代后,冷藏列车和汽车开始在全国范围内运送肉类。这了食品加工业新标准的出现,可以把加工肉类销售全国的大型肉类加工厂应运而生。

翻译的食品安全历史与冷藏技术 - Wilson Wen - Wilson@Tour 旅行者
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